The Liberal Democrat candidate for the rerun Police and Crime Commissioner election in Wiltshire and Swindon this year will be Dr Brian Mathew.

The party’s candidate in the May election Liz Webster decided not to stand again and has endorsed Dr Mathew, a Lib Dem member of Wiltshire Council.

Ms Webster, who came second in the election behind Conservative Jonathon Seed said: “Having had some time to reflect since the botched election, I am sorry to disappoint supporters and announce I will not be putting my name forward.

“Like everyone else outside the leadership of the Conservative Party, I was shocked to discover the news of their disgraceful actions in not telling voters that their candidate, Jonathon Seed had been convicted of a drink-driving offence and so was ineligible to stand for election as PCC.

“The delay in making that statement until after the polls had closed was cynical and disgraceful. Had voters known about it before they voted, I believe I would have been elected and would now be hard at work as the new Police and Crime Commissioner.

“When I learned there would have to be a by-election, I assumed that just like when an MP or councillor resigns or dies‎, that election would take place promptly, only to discover it will not happen for three months. This was an exhausting election campaign and the prospect of another three months of campaigning simply does not work for me for personal and family reasons.

“I am disappointed to say that I am stepping away from the candidacy, but I will still be working with the campaign team and I am delighted my good friend Dr Mathew is stepping up.

Dr Mathew, a councillor for Box and Colerne, said "Liz’s campaign captured the public imagination and if justice were being done she would have been declared the winner of the first election.

“I am determined to build on her great work. As a long-standing member of the Police and Crime Panel, I understand the responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner and what it takes to serve our residents and communities.

“I have a clear, practical programme to make our streets, homes and communities safer places to live, work and visit.‎   I want our police to be more visible in our communities and work more closely with councils, community safety volunteers and civic groups to achieve that goal.

“I will review decisions taken to close police stations, harness technology to fight crime online and on our streets and recognise that the environment matters in everything we do.

“My focus will also be taking effective action to prevent crime and engaging with young people who may be heading down the wrong path.

“The result of the May election shows our next PCC will either be me or a Conservative. I am absolutely up for this battle and teaching the Conservatives their unforgettable lesson; that they cannot waste £1.5m of taxpayers’ money or treat voters with such contempt.

“Consequently, I call on those who did, and indeed did not vote for Liz in May, to get behind me and deliver a resounding victory for respect for our police and fellow residents, greater community safety and proper standards for elected representatives in public life.”

Coun Seed won the May 6 vote easily but then said he could not take up the PCC job having been disbarred by a drink-driving conviction dating back 30 years.

The re-run election is  on August 19.